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Using ad views as currency is spreading

By   /  July 28, 2015  /  No Comments

We recently wrote about how mobile video games are allowing people to exchange ad views for in game boosters. Based on an AdWeek interview with the CEO of Jet.com, Marc Lore, more businesses are looking for creative ways to boost their revenue with ad views.

Currently, the Jet.com website is free of advertising. However, Lore speculated that people could opt to have banner ads show up on the site in exchange for further discounts. The issue with this is that the amount of money that websites receive for displaying banner ads could be generously called paltry and realistically be called sad.

The only way for websites to make real money on banner ads is if they’re displaying them in extra large volume. Still, the idea works with the principal of Jet.com, and with some tweaks, it could be a winner for the site – and a lot of others.

Jet basically plans to take on Amazon by offering a large selection of products at a discount. You have to pay a $49.99 for membership to the site, but the discounts on products, large and small, are 15 percent. If someone is planning on buying a sofa, that money could be make up quickly.

The discounts are achieved by passing on volume sale discounts to members of the site. According to Lore, a computer algorithm automagically figures out the way to leverage all possible discounts to pass on to a consumer, including where the items are shipping to and whether someone uses credit or debt. However, for the plan to succeed, they need sales of $20 billion by 2020, which isn’t aiming high so much as aiming for Mars.

If I were Lore, I’d instead plan to offer discounts for viewing video ads and further discounts if people purchased the products being advertised on the site. This would not only make it worth it for advertisers to show ads on the site, it would also prevent them from blocking views. Furthermore, someone viewing 10 video ads a month would at least amount to a few dollars of revenue rather than nearly most of a penny.

It will be interesting to see if the idea of video view currency spreads. Instead of having paywalls, perhaps websites like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal could have video ad walls. One full video view could equate to an article. It would still provide revenue and people are more likely to spend a few seconds watching a video – something they might have to do anyway – than to pull out a credit card for a subscription or to pay for a single article.

About the author

I'm an avid reader of stuff and devour information of all kind. For the past four years, I've been pursuing my passion for writing. When I'm not reading or writing, you'll find me knitting. Follow me on twitter: @MarilynMaupinTS

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